Women in Chemistry Symposium

This symposium will discuss the gender issues that surround the field of science

Georgia Tech's Women in Chemistry Committee in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry is sponsoring the inaugural Women in Chemistry Symposium on Tuesday October 18, in the Student Success Center.

Symposium organizers say they have two main objectives for the event. One is to encourage women to pursue scientific careers after obtaining graduate degrees, and the other is to increase awareness about the challenges faced by women in science.

"The symposium is one component of our efforts to increase the interaction between female graduate students and successful women in science, encouraging the students to pursue scientific careers," said Shannon Watt, chair of the Women in Chemistry Symposium.

According to Watt, women earn one-third of the Ph.D.s in chemistry, but are significantly underrepresented at nearly all levels of industry and academia.

"It is now widely recognized that the pipeline of high-level careers in science - especially for women - is hemorrhaging after the Ph.D. level," said Watt. "In an age when the U.S. is losing ground in all areas of science and technology, it is vital that the entire pool of talented, highly skilled scientists is utilized."

Watt says the symposium will bring together undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of majors, faculty and staff from several departments, campus administrators, and scientists from government and industry to discuss gender issues in science from a number of perspectives.

The symposium will feature several panel discussions, a keynote luncheon and a roundtable discussion. Among the many presenters are Professor Mary Frank Fox from the Georgia Tech NSF ADVANCE program; Professor Geraldine Richmond, University of Oregon Chemistry Department and the chair of the Committee on the Advancement of Women Chemists; and Professor Karen Wooley of Washington University in St. Louis' Chemistry Department.

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